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New immigration policies hamper hiring plans of Australian firms with SG presence 

Six in 10 Australian firms say obtaining an employment pass has become more difficult.

Singapore’s stricter overseas employment framework has deterred some Australian multinational enterprises (MNEs) with a presence in the country from increasing their number of employees.

Data from AustCham Singapore showed that 42% of Australian MNEs do not plan to change their number of employees in Singapore in the next 12 months in response to new employment and immigration policies in the country, including the stricter employment pass  (EP) requirements.

According to 65.63% of Australian MNEs, obtaining an EP has now become more difficult than previously, given the higher qualifying salary requirement (71%) and fewer successful applications (82%).

In general, MNEs would either distribute the tasks within the organisation and dissolve the position (59%), bring employees from other locations or offshore it (16%) to fill in vacancies. 

In the case of an EP rejection, most MNEs shift the vacant position to another location (41%), whilst some either leave the vacancy open (32%) or hire somebody else even though the necessary skills are missing (23%).

Skills that are most sought after by companies from university students include critical thinking (78%). Australian MNEs also want applicants to possess initiative and self-motivation (69%), written and spoken English proficiency (44%), and teamwork capability (44%).

Based on the study, the most in-demand talents across Australian MNEs are software engineers, risk professionals, project planners, qualified professionals, financial analysts, economists and sales.

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